This blog post was written by Liadan Gunter, Life Coach at Nivati. You can see more of their content on the Nivati platform and on the Nivati blog. If you want to learn more about Nivati, click here.
When we think about Olympic athletes, we don’t imagine that they got to the Olympics on their own. Olympic athletes train with the guidance of coaches that help them reach their peak potential. Sure, not all of us have goals to become Olympic athletes, but coaching can help one get to where he or she wants to be faster and more efficiently. Providing coaching in the workplace reportedly impacts the careers and lives of clients positively, with many indicating that it helps them to:
1. Establish and implement systems for achieving their goals
2. Increase self-reliance and accountability towards commitments
3. Increase life and job satisfaction and work engagement
4. Contribute and communicate more effectively in their organizations
5. Improve performance and ease of working with others
Benefits of Life Coaching in the Workplace
Are you thinking about incorporating life coaching in the workplace? Well, there are numerous benefits of workplace life coaching in how it translates to tangible business results. In fact, studies have shown that 51% of companies with a strong coaching culture have higher revenues compared to their industry peers. If that’s not incentive enough, executive coaching has been shown to have a 788% ROI due to an increase in productivity of employees and employee satisfaction.
Additionally, providing life coaching has a direct impact on workplace culture. In fact, one meta-analysis examining coaching in the workplace found that coaching had a positive effect on the coping capacities, attitudes, resilience, performance, goal attainment, and even subjective wellbeing of those who received the support of coaching.
The 2009 ICF Global Coaching Study found that 73% of those who receive coaching reportedly improve their relationships, 72% increase their communication skills, 70% report an increase in their work performance, 67% achieve a better work/life balance after coaching, and 63% have a higher subjective wellbeing. All of this thanks to the support of coaching.
The support and mentorship that coaching can offer may also affect an employee’s mindset which can translate into greater career advancements. Employees who receive mentorship tend to be paid more, receive more promotions, feel more satisfied and committed to their careers, and believe that they will advance and be successful in their careers.
Life coaching, specifically, has shown to improve the self-esteem and self-confidence by 80% of those to have this type of support.
You may be wondering: "Will my employees shy away from coaching like many people do therapy?”
Why Life Coaching Can Be More Approachable Than Therapy
The very first reason is that life coaches are just more reachable than therapists. Therapists tend to have strict boundaries around when or how you can contact them, much of which may be limited to just the sessions—leaving many clients without support during the time between sessions. On the other hand, as a life coach I tend to give my clients access to some support over e-mail, or over text if they need. I find that this also increases engagement and nurtures the relationship between coach and client.
Another thing I hear a lot from clients when they were receiving therapy is that their therapists just sat and listened as they talked, but their sessions and meetings didn’t seem to go anywhere. Life coaches tend to be more goal-oriented and challenging and, in my case, tool- based. That means that in my sessions I try to get to the root issue and provide meaningful changes or observations that they can employ right away. I know when the appropriate time is for empathizing and listening, but I also know when to challenge them on something so that they can grow and begin to look at something from another perspective.
Life coaching also suggests tools and systems that clients can implement. I will go into their background and try to understand how they became the way they did, or to understand the root of a problem, but we don’t stay there—I help them move forward and assist them in making behavioral changes. In short, it’s much more results-driven, and many clients feel that they make more progress with coaching than therapy.
Life coaching also tends to be more human. Therapists usually don’t share things from their own life, whereas in coaching I may use examples or scenarios from my own experiences—which is how you generally build rapport with people. This allows me to empathize with them more that I would otherwise be able to. It also provides an opportunity for connection, more so than with a therapist where you may feel a wall between you simply because you don’t know anything about them. It makes people feel that they are talking to a friend or a mentor or someone who feels more relatable.
There also tends to be less stigma around seeing a life coach. There is a current idea that if you are seeing a therapist, it’s because you have a problem, whereas when you see a coach, it may imply that you care about self-development and growth. This preconceived notion may make people more likely to seek coaching simply because it makes them feel more positively about themselves instead of making them think that perhaps they are dysfunctional.
However, it’s important to note that coaching is not a substitute for therapy, and I will refer my clients to seek therapy if they need help for things with which I’m unable to assist them. These are simply some reasons why life coaching may be more approachable than therapy—but I don’t presume to say that life coaching is better. They are different and serve different purposes.
Practical Steps to Start Providing Life Coaching to Employees
When bringing life coaching in the workplace, the strategy you will take will depend on your position in your organization. If you are a CEO, you may decide to talk to HR about finding a suitable platform or hiring a particular coach that can provide seminars or work with some members of your team.
If you are an HR rep, and you want to bring coaching to your organization, I recommend talking to the decision makers and discussing the benefits of coaching in the workplace. You may also research platforms like Nivati, or specific coaches you may have heard of, and be ready to present it as an idea.
If you’re an employee of an organization and you’d like to bring coaching to your work, I’d suggest talking to your manager and reaching out to HR to mention how beneficial it can be. This article may even be a good step to share some resources with HR or your manager, or even the CEO.
Whatever position you hold in a company, there’s certainly an avenue you can take to make a case for the importance and benefits of coaching.
If you’re interested in learning more about life coaching, check out these articles:
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